Friday, July 02, 2010

Poetry Friday: Wimbledon

I have been enjoying watching the World Cup this year. Usually I would be at home in Haiti and we don't have television, so I would likely not be watching. It has been a lot of fun to keep up on the games.

The only other sporting event besides the World Cup that I care about is Wimbledon, which I rarely get to watch. When I was at school in England we all followed it very closely and watching the men's final was always a huge deal to us. One year I got to go to Wimbledon myself.

If I enjoy a sporting event, you can be pretty sure it's not about the sports. With the World Cup, it's about the international competition; I also love how egalitarian the sport is. You don't need a lot of special equipment; poor children around the world play soccer with whatever they can find to kick. And this year, the World Cup is providing trauma therapy in Haiti.

With Wimbledon, similarly, it's not that I'm so into tennis, though I used to umpire some when I was in high school. I was never very good at it, and if the games had had any importance, I would have been vilified worse than a World Cup referee. It's about the memories I have from watching it with friends and from going there myself. It's about the tradition and the beautiful green courts and the strawberries and cream.

This year I haven't watched much of the coverage, but I was amused to read that for the first time ever, there is an official Poet in Residence for the tournament, Matt Harvey. You can follow his poems here, at the official Wimblewords site. I particularly enjoyed "Mrs. K. with Strawberries," which begins like this:

Mrs K with Strawberries

they're ordinary strawberries
it's ordinary cream
from a commonplace cow
nothing special - like me

and they're served as you'd hope
in a bowl, with a spoon
with a sprinkle of sugar
just like at home

and I'm eating them now
in the Wingfield Café
and Jeremy's here
with his clever new phone

and he's taking my picture just typical me
with my ordinary strawberries
and ordinary cream

Here's the rest of it.

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is at The Poem Farm.


Mary Lee said...

I'm with you -- it's not so much about the sport but all the other things AROUND that sport/tournament/event. We love World Cup Soccer time because it gives us something to chat about with waiters and baristas and store clerks. The playing field levels the playing field, as it were.

Author Amok said...

This official poet of a sporting event seems a funny job to me. Still, I really like the poem you shared -- great portrait poem.

Irene Latham said...

Love the "ordinary strawberries and ordinary cream"... unique setting for a poem. Thanks for sharing!

Toby Speed said...

Strawberries and cream, what a luscious dish to go with a sport. Thanks for sharing this poem!

Tricia said...

mmm, strawberries and cream. I have an idea for my last few tablespoons of half & half...

I was a big tennis fan in high school, because I played on our team (small town, few tennis players => easy to get on team!). What I would have given to see Wimbledon in person back then!

I heard the Wimbledon PIR on Only a Game last week and meant to make sure you had! I heard him recite part of "Thwok!" It has lovely rhythms.

Amy L V said...

Oh, I like this poem very very much. The ordinary strawberries and ordinary cream...such a celebration of life's small pleasures. How cool that there's an official poet in residence at Wimbledon!